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Making of a Politician Quest Blog

Quest Introduction

Politicians are made, not born, so our Making of a Politician Quest was designed to do just that! This Quest is based on graduate-level courses at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The activities included challenged our Scholars to explore leadership, communication, cross-cultural awareness, and public service.

Scholars considered and debated their visions for the future of our nation and pondered the leadership required to achieve those goals. Throughout the 4-week Quest, Scholars tackled challenges that built transferable skills and global competencies they will use as adults and future leaders.

The culmination of this quest was a mock presidential debate. Teams who earned the most points throughout the quest were granted a specific advantage regarding debating, longer
response times.

The Making of a Politician

Politicians are multi-skilled individuals; therefore, our Scholars were required to complete writing, speaking, social media, and campaign design tasks. They chose a candidate, a campaign manager, and multiple policy specialists within their team.

After researching current policy, scholars were asked to design a platform based on their beliefs. Then, specialists used their gathered information to write white papers for each platform plank. Specialists were required to have a minimum of five resources to ensure their data was accurate and Scholars learned the importance of fact-checking versus hearsay.

Scholars wrote, practiced, and edited campaign speeches, and candidates engaged in practice QA to face potential questions they might face on the trail.

Campaign managers were tasked with making crucial decisions for the campaign on behalf of the candidate and ensuring that HQ ran smoothly.

Our scholars also needed to develop a deep understanding of the opponents’ point of view. By learning about the opponent’s platform, they could identify shared interests and areas they were willing to compromise and strengthen their policy.

Scholars did mock debates among their own teams so both candidates and team members could hone their knowledge, prep for the final exhibition, and refine their beliefs.
Display of Knowledge

Scholars engaged in a mock presidential debate with their peers. A local panel of political and media experts judged and mediated the debate. Each team had one minute to present their opening statements and had to answer six different questions during the debate.

Campaign managers were subjected to additional questions from experts from the other side, parents, and policy experts.

The Making of a Politician Quest gave Scholars a glimpse into what it takes to run a smooth campaign. They learned the value of teamwork and viewing ideas from another point of view and why it is vital to truly understand your policies, back up your statements, and present yourself as knowledgeable and polished when campaigning.